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Discovering Identity Through Drag: A Journey of Self-Expression and Pride

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​The journey of self-discovery is a unique and transformative experience for everyone, but for those in the queer community, it often involves navigating societal expectations and personal identity. One such journey is that of discovering the art of drag, an expressive and dynamic performance art that allows individuals to explore and celebrate their identities in a profound way. Today, we delve into the story of Amanda Blow, whose path to self-discovery led her to the vibrant world of drag, sharing her insights and experiences along the way.

This journey resonates deeply with the values of Sharp & Carter, a recruitment company dedicated to fostering inclusivity, diversity, and authenticity in the workplace. As we celebrate Pride Month, we reflect on how these values not only support our mission but also honour the courage and creativity of individuals like Amanda, whose stories inspire us to embrace our true selves. Be sure to watch Amanda's interview at the end of this article to get an even deeper insight into her journey!

Finding Herself in a "Glass Closet"

Coming out in high school was a pivotal moment for Amanda. It wasn’t a dramatic revelation—more like opening a glass door everyone could already see through. The acceptance she received was heartwarming, with only a few relatives clinging to the notion that it might be "just a phase." Fortunately, they soon came to terms with her identity, growing to understand and support her.

Her friends played a significant role in this period of her life. Many were also queer or came out later, creating a supportive and understanding circle. It felt like they were in a golden age where acceptance was almost fashionable. Sadly, it's disheartening to see society sometimes taking steps backward in terms of acceptance and understanding.


The Natural Progression to Drag

Amanda's initial dream was to become an actor, but breaking into the industry in Melbourne without the right connections proved challenging. Meanwhile, she was a regular at a queer night event called Thursgay, which featured a segment named "Lip Sync For Your Pint" hosted by Karen From Finance. Winning almost every time, Amanda realised she had a knack for performance. This discovery led her to pivot towards drag, an art form she had always admired and found fascinating.


Embracing Her Queer Identity Through Drag

Being part of the queer community provided the connections and support Amanda needed to pursue drag. She started performing at Mollies Bar and Diner's weekly event called “Baby Drag,” honing her skills and building confidence. Before long, she was being booked for other gigs and even hosting her own shows.


Navigating Challenges in the Drag Scene

While the challenges faced in the drag scene aren't entirely unique, they are certainly formidable. Homophobia and transphobia persist, but growing up in Narre Warren gave Amanda a thick skin and the courage to stand up for herself. Another significant challenge is standing out in a market saturated with talent, especially in a post-"RuPaul’s Drag Race" world where drag has gained mainstream popularity.


Exploring Her Identity Through Her Drag Persona

Drag allowed Amanda to explore and express different facets of her queer identity. From a young age, she loved dressing up and performing, and though her acting career didn’t pan out as expected, drag became a new avenue for self-expression. Through drag, Amanda realised that she identifies as non-binary, embracing this part of herself more fully.


The Influence of the LGBTQ+ Community on Her Performances

The LGBTQ+ community has profoundly shaped Amanda's drag performances and understanding of pride. Learning from elders in the drag community has been invaluable, as they offer wisdom and experiences that enrich our collective understanding. It’s a two-way street; they learn from each other, fostering a sense of shared history and pride.


Making an Impact Through Drag

One of the most rewarding aspects of performing in drag for Amanda is the impact it can have on others. She remembers a gig at Melbourne University during their Pride Week, where a rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” moved an audience member to tears of joy. These moments highlight the power of drag not just as entertainment, but as a means of connection and affirmation.


Advice for Young Queer Individuals

To young queer individuals exploring their identities and considering drag, Amanda says go for it. Drag is a transformative experience, much like donning a superhero's cape and embracing a powerful, hidden identity. It’s an opportunity to discover aspects of yourself you might not have known and to express your true self boldly and unapologetically. Everyone should try drag at least once; it’s an experience like no other.​

​The journey of self-discovery is transformative for everyone, but for the queer community, it often involves navigating societal norms and personal identity. Amanda Blow's exploration of drag exemplifies this, showcasing how the art form empowers individuals to express their true selves. At Sharp & Carter, we value inclusivity, diversity, and authenticity, principles that resonate with the spirit of Pride Month. Amanda's story reminds us of the importance of embracing and celebrating our unique identities, both personally and professionally.

If you’d like to learn more you can explore ongoing pride events happening in your area.

Take the opportunity to hear directly from Amanda about her journey of self-discovery in an interview with Sharp & Carter's Wellbeing Director, Feyona Lau. Watch the video below and join us in celebrating the spirit of Pride Month!